Pastry Chef de Partie, Alan Wong's Honolulu
(featured in the upcoming "Girls Night In" Next Generation Dinner
on September 17, 2014)
How did you come about your "Lava Flow" dessert for this dinner?
It was actually an accident. I was trying to create a strawberry mousse, but it turned into something that reminded me of a lava flow. I incorporated coconut and pineapple after. Originally, this dinner was supposed to be a "Girls of the Summer" themed dinner, and this lava flow dessert perfectly embodied that for me. When I think of summer (even in September), I think of sipping on lava flows by the pool or beach.
What made you want to move ot Hawaii, and work at Alan Wong's Restaurants?
I'm from California, but have been visiting Hawaii ever since I was 12. Back then, I said to myself, "I'm going to make this my home one day," but I was thinking more along the lines of when I retire. On a more recent visit, my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to live here, so we worked hard and left Sacramento together to start something new. I had always heard about Alan Wong's while I was in culinary school, and knew it was top notch. I saw an opening, and decided it was worth a shot - the worst they could say is 'no.'
What inspired you to become a pastry chef?
I've always been in the kitchen, since I was 2 years old. I also used to have a lot of baking sessions with my neighbor growing up, which turned me to baking. I didn't want to sit behind a desk for the rest of my life. I've always believed that dessert is the most important part of a meal. When dining out, I've always looked forward to dessert. It's the finale, and can turn a good meal into a great one, a great meal into an excellent one.
What do you enjoy about working at Alan Wong's Restaurants?
I really enjoy working with dough consistently. I was never a bread maker, but I enjoy baking bread here in the restaurant kitchen. I also love learning more about Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC), since I was never exposed to it much before. I've always liked working at farm-to-table restaurants, and I love learning about and working with all things local.